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Safe Routes to School announces funding awards
By Staff reports

June 13. 2013 6:00AM
The South Dakota Department of Transportation has awarded nearly $900,000 in grants to 10 South Dakota communities as part of the Safe Routes to School program. These communities will also provide $24,720 in local or in kind matches.

The largest award of $199,692.50 went to the City of Elk Point for sidewalks and ADA curb ramps, as well as education and incentive items.

Other community awards are as follows:

Alcester - $115,743.76

Big Stone City $173,356.00

Centerville - $8,225.00

Dell Rapids - $50,298.00

Estelline - $106,531.25

Iroquois - $5,878.00

Madison - $35,501.00

Valley Springs - $131,466.75

Viborg - $11,931.70

Applicants were asked to create a unique Safe Routes to School program to address specific concerns within their community. The programs include activities that encourage walking and biking, as well as small-scale construction projects to fill gaps in existing bicycle and pedestrian routes for school children.

Construction projects can include sign and crosswalk improvements, driver feedback signs, pedestrian and bicycle connective paths.

Non-infrastructure projects include incentive programs, safety and health education, law enforcement assistance, safety campaigns, bicycle rodeo activities, bicycle physical education programs, in-street yield signs, walking school buses and bicycle trains.

Safe Routes to School was created as an effort by Congress to combat the growing epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes. One cause of this epidemic is the decrease in children's physical activity. To promote physical activity, Safe Routes has three goals:

To enable and encourage all children to walk and bicycle to school.

To make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age.

To facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of projects and activities which will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution near schools.

For more information about the program, contact Marilyn Patterson, Safe Routes to School Coordinator, at 605-773-6642 or marilyn.patterson@state.sd.us.






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